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Old 5th September 2015, 14:21   #151
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Hello, I am planning a trip to Munnar during the long weekend of Oct 1st week.

I can see that people are suggesting one of the below options from Chennai.

Option 1 - Chennai - Trichy - Dindigul - Theni - Bodi - Munnar (560 kms)
Option 2 - Chennai - Trichy - Dindigul - Palani - Udumalpet - Munnar (590 kms)

I prefer to better roads and prefer to reach Munnar quicker. How is the route as specified in option 1? I know it's good till Dindigul. Is it good all the way till Munnar?
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Old 5th September 2015, 14:47   #152
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
Hello, I am planning a trip to Munnar during the long weekend of Oct 1st week.

I can see that people are suggesting one of the below options from Chennai.

Option 1 - Chennai - Trichy - Dindigul - Theni - Bodi - Munnar (560 kms)
Option 2 - Chennai - Trichy - Dindigul - Palani - Udumalpet - Munnar (590 kms)

I prefer to better roads and prefer to reach Munnar quicker. How is the route as specified in option 1? I know it's good till Dindigul. Is it good all the way till Munnar?
Roads are good till Batlagundu and beyond that till Bodi you will find combination of good and bad roads which can be managed. You need to have buffer of 2-3 hours to reach Munnar from Bodi. Roads are narrow and traffic would be high. You need to be patient while driving in the ghats as you would find cabs, state buses and lorries would be driving faster and honking continuously.

While coming back you can take Option 2 and come via Udumalpet, Pollachi and touch NH47. From Avinashi you will get 4 lanes till Chennai. You will be driving through Chinnar forest area and early morning rides can get glimpse of some wild animals.

Monsoon would have been over by October and you will find greenery all over the place- very good time to drive to Munnar.

Have a safe ride
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Old 6th September 2015, 08:33   #153
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The route I would say: Vellore-Krishnagiri-Salem-Dindigul-Theni-Munnar

From that point of view, the best option for halt would either Dindigul or Theni.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Try Parson's Court in Dindigul
Thanks. I am inclined to stay in Dindigul on the forward journey. I was keen on driving through Chinnar /udumulpet for the scenery but the road conditions seem doubtful after monsoons.
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Old 6th September 2015, 10:41   #154
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
Thanks. I am inclined to stay in Dindigul on the forward journey. I was keen on driving through Chinnar /udumulpet for the scenery but the road conditions seem doubtful after monsoons.
Even Theni has a good place.

http://hotelwesterngatz.com

Do check this out.
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Old 6th September 2015, 15:13   #155
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Even Theni has a good place http://hotelwesterngatz.com
Second this! Stayed overnight twice (once going to Munnar, other time Thekkady) at Western Gatz. Very good place to stay. Theni is very easy to enter and exit too.
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Old 6th September 2015, 16:42   #156
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by couswheels View Post

Monsoon would have been over by October and you will find greenery all over the place- very good time to drive to Munnar.

Have a safe ride
Thanks for the feedback. I stay in South Chennai and coming via GST would suit me better .

All,

After having gone through few TLOGs I am thinking of including Thekkady in my plan. So, my plan is Chennai - Thekkady - Munnar - Chennai.

I am also planning to start from office around 06:00 PM and proceed to Trichy first and have an overnight stay there as I don't prefer night driving. Early morning drives suit me fine.This way I could save sometime and break in drive would be refreshing well.

This is my plan.
  • First day - Start from Chennai around 06:00 PM and stay overnight in Trichy outskirts close to the highway
  • Second day - Proceed to Thekkady from Trichy. Go for boating on the same day. Overnight stay in Thekkady
  • Third Day - Proceed to Munnar from Thekkady. I am planning to stay 3 nights (3rd,4th,5th)
  • Sixth Day - Proceed to Chennai from Munnar. This day will be purely for driving.

I have few questions and could do with some help.

1. Could somebody recommend a good hotel to stay in Trichy outskirts close to the highway? I am thinking of Grand Gardenia to stay overnight.

2. How long it might take to reach Thekkady from Trichy outskirts? Google roughly says 5 hours.

3. Will Thekkady - Munnar take 3 hours? It does look so based on google map. I want to cover Idduki dam on this route. I understood it may not be open for visitors but hope we can get a decent view of the dam for photo snaps. What's the route to take if I have to do Thekkady - Idukki Dam - Munnar.

4. Oct 2nd being Gandhi Jayanthi would any of the spots be closed in Munnar on that day?

5. I am planning to take the Munnar - Marayoor - Udumalpet - Dindigul - Trichy - Chennai route for the return journey.
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Old 6th September 2015, 22:54   #157
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
  • First day - Start from Chennai around 06:00 PM and stay overnight in Trichy outskirts close to the highway
1. Could somebody recommend a good hotel to stay in Trichy outskirts close to the highway? I am thinking of Grand Gardenia to stay overnight.

2. How long it might take to reach Thekkady from Trichy outskirts? Google roughly says 5 hours.

4. Oct 2nd being Gandhi Jayanthi would any of the spots be closed in Munnar on that day?
6PM is quite a bad time to start. If you can escape GST, by say taking Thiruporur-Chengalpattu road. If you are to encounter Perungulathur-Chengalpattu traffic, it isn't going to be of much use. You'll end up in Trichy somewhere close to midnight, which IMO isn't worth it. You might as well start 3AM next day, you should make it to TVS tollgate by 700-730 AM. If you really want to do a Day 0 start, I'd suggest a 300PM-400PM start and shoot further than Trichy. When I did this about 4 years back started at 330PM and stopped at Theni, did Munnar the following day.

Trichy - If you are ok with Grand Gardenia budget, would be ideal. Temple Inn at Tiruvanaikoil is another (if you are picking this, enter and exit from TV Koil via bypass, not through the city). There are quite a lot of options in Junction, Main Bus Stand area. Trichy traffic isn't too bad.

Trichy-Dindigul - 60-70 min + 20 min TVS tollgate to 4-lane start.
Dindigul-Theni - 70-90 min
Theni-Thekkady - 60-75 min

You are looking about 4 hrs of driving from Trichy.

No spots will be closed, infact expect lot of traffic at sightseeing spots, better to do an early morning start to see spots that day. Even if you do that, expect B2B traffic on the return to Munnar Had experienced this on Good Friday weekend when I went.
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Old 7th September 2015, 10:02   #158
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
6PM is quite a bad time to start. If you can escape GST, by say taking Thiruporur-Chengalpattu road.
Yes, this is the plan. I would be hitting NH-45 only at Chengelpet. Hence the idea to start around 6:00 PM. Would the traffic still be bad beyond Chengelpet for a 6:00 PM start?


Quote:
No spots will be closed, infact expect lot of traffic at sightseeing spots, better to do an early morning start to see spots that day. Even if you do that, expect B2B traffic on the return to Munnar Had experienced this on Good Friday weekend when I went.
Thanks for the heads-up. Will plan for early morning start to the tourist spots.
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Old 7th September 2015, 10:39   #159
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I stay in South Chennai and coming via GST would suit me better .

All,

After having gone through few TLOGs I am thinking of including Thekkady in my plan. So, my plan is Chennai - Thekkady - Munnar - Chennai.

I am also planning to start from office around 06:00 PM and proceed to Trichy first and have an overnight stay there as I don't prefer night driving. Early morning drives suit me fine.This way I could save sometime and break in drive would be refreshing well.

This is my plan.
  • First day - Start from Chennai around 06:00 PM and stay overnight in Trichy outskirts close to the highway
  • Second day - Proceed to Thekkady from Trichy. Go for boating on the same day. Overnight stay in Thekkady
  • Third Day - Proceed to Munnar from Thekkady. I am planning to stay 3 nights (3rd,4th,5th)
  • Sixth Day - Proceed to Chennai from Munnar. This day will be purely for driving.

I have few questions and could do with some help.

3. Will Thekkady - Munnar take 3 hours? It does look so based on google map. I want to cover Idduki dam on this route. I understood it may not be open for visitors but hope we can get a decent view of the dam for photo snaps. What's the route to take if I have to do Thekkady - Idukki Dam - Munnar.

4. Oct 2nd being Gandhi Jayanthi would any of the spots be closed in Munnar on that day?

5. I am planning to take the Munnar - Marayoor - Udumalpet - Dindigul - Trichy - Chennai route for the return journey.
The standard route from Thekkady - Munnar is through Puttady-Poopara that joins you with the NH-49 from Theni. This is also a very scenic route. You can visit Ramakkalmedu, a scenic viewpoint enroute if you want. But I don't think you will have the Idukki dam view from here. Alternatively, there is SH-185 that takes you via Idukki dam to Munnar, the road conditions I am not aware of though.

Munnar and Thekkady, both witness heavy crowd and traffic during any long weekend. You can expect crazy traffic with jams enroute all major tourist attractions. Planning the day early is the way to go.

On your return leg, you could do Udumalpet-Palladam-Avinashi-Perundurai-Salem-Ulundurpet if you want to try a different route. Should not cost you more time than the other.

One other suggestion apart from your questions - The boat ride at Thekkady is the best when taken early in the morning for the pristine views and better wildlife sightings. You can buy tickets online in advance to guarantee a ride. Please suit your itinerary if you can to accommodate this.
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Old 7th September 2015, 20:30   #160
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
Yes, this is the plan. I would be hitting NH-45 only at Chengelpet. Hence the idea to start around 6:00 PM. Would the traffic still be bad beyond Chengelpet for a 6:00 PM start?
You should have moderate traffic until Tindivanam and then its almost empty stretch. You should be able to Chengalpattu-Trichy in 3:30 hrs. If you cross Chengalpattu by 19:00 you should be able target Dindigul and do the rest next day. If you are staying in Trichy then start early. This is just to avoid some traffic and time in the TVS tollgate to 4-lane start of Trichy-Dindigul.
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Old 8th September 2015, 12:33   #161
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Has anyone done the munnar climb from udumulpet side recently? How does the scenery and road condition compare to the Theni Munnar climb.
Since I will be going off to Kumarakom after Munnar, I can only do one of the routes.
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Old 8th September 2015, 12:52   #162
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
Has anyone done the munnar climb from udumulpet side recently? How does the scenery and road condition compare to the Theni Munnar climb.
Since I will be going off to Kumarakom after Munnar, I can only do one of the routes.
I have done both routes but not recently.
Both are scenic:
-Udumalaipet route will take you via the Chinnar forest area, narrow roads but some part of this may be a little rough per recent reports. This will also take you to Munnar town directly and goes via Eravikulam national park, if you time it well you can visit this en route (Nilgiri Tahrs can be sighted predominantly).
-Theni route - much better roads, Bodi ghats are very scenic, after that road gets narrower as you reach near Chinnakanal (Sterling, Mahindra and other resorts are nearby). From Chinnakanal you need to travel another 20Km to reach Munnar town and can take about an hour or so.

Ideal would be to take one route for onward & the other for return journey.
Consider your destination also before deciding which route to take.

Last edited by NPV : 8th September 2015 at 12:53.
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Old 17th September 2015, 11:00   #163
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

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Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I stay in South Chennai and coming via GST would suit me better .
My plan got shifted to 4th week of October. It's pretty much the same plan as that of above but with few changes. The changes are

1. I could not get an accommodation in Periyar Lake House. Hence have booked it in Periyar Arayana Nivas

2. Could not get boating tickets for 3:30 PM slot. Hence have booked it for 1:45 PM slot. If I start from Trichy around 7:30 AM IST, would that give me sufficient time to reach Thekkady by 12:30 PM IST. Looks so from Google.

3. Could not get accommodation in Deshadan mountain resort. Hence have booked in Aranyaka Resorts in Munnar. Also I am planning to cover Idukki dam on the way from Thekkady to Munnar.

Last edited by ampere : 17th October 2015 at 23:35. Reason: Removed bulk of quoted post
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Old 17th September 2015, 12:54   #164
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
Has anyone done the munnar climb from udumulpet side recently? How does the scenery and road condition compare to the Theni Munnar climb.
Since I will be going off to Kumarakom after Munnar, I can only do one of the routes.
We did the Udumalpet-Chinnar- Marayoor-Munnar climb two months ago last July 17th during monsoons. Both routes are equally good, but a drive through the Chinnar forest will be a different feeling altogether + chances of wildlife sighting.

Chinnar route July 2015
Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed-munnar-178.jpg
Chinnar route July 2015
Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed-munnar-191.jpg

Decending through Bodi route 18th July 2015
Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed-munnar-630.jpg

But over all road condition is better on Bodi side when compared with the Chinnar side.


Quote:
Originally Posted by searacer932 View Post
2. Could not get boating tickets for 3:30 PM slot. Hence have booked it for 1:45 PM slot. If I start from Trichy around 7:30 AM IST, would that give me sufficient time to reach Thekkady by 12:30 PM IST. Looks so from Google.
Its better you started a bit earlier say about 6.30 and reach Thekkady well before time say about 12 and do the check in at the hotel and then go for the boats. Because entering inside the sanctuary ie, getting entry tickets and car pass will take some 15 to 20 minutes depending upon the crowds. Then again from the boating area car park you'll again need 20-30 mins buffer time to walk upto the ushering counter and then to the boat itself. Imho.

Last edited by Ddrive : 17th September 2015 at 13:05. Reason: additions
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Old 12th October 2015, 10:18   #165
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar - Road Trip : Route Info Needed

Here are a couple of videos of the climb to Munnar on the Theni-Bodi side.
This was 2 weeks ago. There was plenty of rain in the evenings in Munnar. I loved this drive!





My dashcam has some difficulty staying in focus. So images may be a little blurry.
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